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by Elizabeth Bishop

Sestina The Home Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Line)

Quote #4

The iron kettle sings on the stove.
She cuts some bread and says to the child, (11-12)

Even though something seems off, the grandmother is still trying to make it a normal, happy home. So whatever tension is between these two, we can't help but wonder if it has to do with someone else entirely—someone who's missing, maybe?

Quote #5

She shivers and says she thinks the house
feels chilly, and puts more wood in the stove. (23-24)

Again, the grandmother is trying to fight the outside forces (in this case the cold) that threaten to make theirs an unhappy home. Time and again, Bishop shows us that this isn't the cheesy home you see in Folgers coffee commercials. It's darker, sadder, and way more real (despite all the surreal imagery).

Quote #6

With crayons the child draws a rigid house (27)

The child drawings are the saddest because they seem to be the idea of the home that she doesn't have. The home she lives in is kind of a bummer. But the house she draws seems pretty perfect. Almost too perfect, in fact.

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